Looking To Jesus, Chapter 10

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

On any given day, if I don’t think about it too much, I’m rather content. Now, Scripture calls us to contentment, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Most days I’m content to simply be average: averagely comfortable, moderately productive, and conveniently involved in the lives of others. I will see what’s happening among others in my church community or ‘out there’ in the world and I can get energized or upset by current events, but only until it pushes me against my comfort zone, and then—that’s quite enough already; simmer down; back to average comfort. After all, I’m an introvert. A low-energy introvert. Don’t even talk about looking inward. This is how God made me. Leave me alone—I mean, I’m fine. Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 9

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This week in our book study we are considering the importance of Scripture in the challenges the church faces in holding fast to truth in a culture of rapidly changing and declining values. Our study of women’s ministry returns again and again to keeping our understanding of biblical womanhood centered on the truth as revealed in God’s holy Scriptures. The challenges come in many shapes; the single issue at the core is: will our homes, our friendships, our fellowship, our ministry, and—frankly—even our Bible studies be shaped by the world or the Word? Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 8

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

My husband and I have moved our family and household several times—from Germany to Pennsylvania to Florida, back to Pennsylvania, and now to Texas— with the number of our possessions growing or whittling according to the situation. We not only carry about our own belongings, but family heirlooms passed down from previous generations. Facing an imminently empty nest, the thought of which of our treasures we will bequeath to which of our children when we downsize further arises occasionally (usually while de-cluttering a closet or attempting to finally clean the garage). Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 7

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

I spent last weekend in a place I’ve never been, with a great big group of people, most of whom I’ve never met. My husband and I drove for two days from South/Central Texas to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Wisconsin for a delayed celebration in honor of our youngest daughter’s marriage. A little over a year ago, Erin and Dusty were married in a sweet little wedding chapel in Memphis with only his parents, a couple of siblings, and us to share their day. And yet they each have families and friends with whom they wanted to share their joy, so a great gathering was planned for this summer at Dusty’s Grandparents’ farm. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, interim week 1

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This is the first week of our brief summer break from meeting for book study, but we still want to bring you content to keep the themes of covenant community swirling in your minds and hearts. My home is blessedly full with family this week as we are preparing to send off my oldest son and his wife to their new assignment in Northern California—so far away!—and I’m doing well to spell my name correctly. So, instead of writing the post which is marinating in my heart, I will direct you to an article written by Christina Fox. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, Chapter 6

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

It’s Summertime here in Texas, which means that school’s out, pools and waterparks are open, and shorts and sandals are standard everyday wear. Of course, being Texas, the shorts and sandals have been in use for several months already. When the sandals come out, it’s pedicure season; the footsies need some sprucing up for their higher visibility; after all, painted toes are part of the accessory package—right? I went for my first pedicure of the season a month ago, and part of the process of getting my feet ready for sandals involved a lot of soaking and special potions and lotions before bringing out the “cheese grater” to tackle my callouses. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, Chapter 5

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

In the summer of 2012 I grew tired of only hearing about my children’s adventures and decided to join our youngest daughter, Erin, and Venture Crew 241, for a four-day hike on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. I was training for my second half-marathon at the time and reasonably fit, after all; how hard could it be? After months of planning, preparation, and practice hikes, we arrived at the trailhead, made a final check of our gear, strapped on our packs (mine weighed approximately a thousand pounds), and walked into the beautiful woods and mountains of the Maine wilderness.

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